Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Why Performers Hate Their Record Labels

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Kelly Lee, May 2, 2005.


  1. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    I found this little article while surfing and thought it was perfect for illustrating "The Dark Side" of the music biz. For all musicians wanting to be "signed" by a major label, you should read this: Why Performers Hate Their Record Labels

    Makes you wonder about being a musician sometimes. :meh:
     
  2. Against Will

    Against Will Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2003
    Big Sound Central
    The crap-factor of Major Labels should not be news to anyone whose read anything by Steve Albini, or "Confessions of a Record Producer" or anyone whose seen an episode of "Behind the Music".

    The music scene is strewn with the corpses of bands that were destroyed by label disputes or fell apart while caught in label limbo.

    This isn't to say that indie labels are in someway divine; there are other instances of bands being screwed over by small operations and tend to involve blatant copywright violation, or bankruptcy that freezes the band's new album, not allowing them sell the album until the proceedings are over (happened to a lot of groups when Caroline went bankrupt).

    Still, it's a different kind of screwing over, you can avoid the sketchy labels pretty easily and find an indie of reasonable size run by people with a genuine love for their music. With Majors, you're just another cog in a big machine, if there's a problem, you'll be taking on a monolithic corporate entity that doesn't care about art, or quality, only about moving units.
     
  3. Whoa. I'll stick with the jazz, something the average consumer of mainstream music, which is owned by the labels, can't begin to appreciate. Thank God.
     
  4. Against Will

    Against Will Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2003
    Big Sound Central
     
  5. Bard2dbone

    Bard2dbone

    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    This is a little off topic, but the link that this article was tied to goes to a radio station in Toronto called 102.1 the Edge. This is only interesting because I listen to the Dallas Texas radio station, 102.1 the Edge.

    Both stations calling themselves 'the Edge' is a moderately interesting coincidence. But both having the same frequency as well is just wierd.
     
  6. Vorago

    Vorago (((o)))

    Jul 17, 2003
    Antwerp, Belgium
    Funny thing about the whole bling-bling thing with rappers is that all the cars and juwelry in the videos is mostly lend.
     
  7. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    I only posted it for the guys who don't take the time to really learn what and how the industry is.

    Hopefully a few read this and realize there is a lot more too it than signing a deal and your a star.
     
  8. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Actually, it makes me wonder why having a recording contract was ever a signifier for success. I've NEVER wondered about why playing music is worthwhile...
     
  9. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    500,000 to record a debut album? 500,000 to make a video?

    Maybe these "stars" should not blow all their money stupidly, because those figures are ridiculous. You could probably start your own label/distribution firm and setup a fairly nice personal studio for that kind of bank.
     
  10. Brendan

    Brendan

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    The problem is money blind. Nobody these days (or most people ever, it seems) understand how money works. Me? I don't care if Sony was asking to sign with them; if someone waves a million dollar check under my nose, I don't drool, I start asking questions.
     
  11. NCorder

    NCorder Smoke-free since 4/3/05

    Dec 26, 2002
    Dayton, OH
    +1

    My wife bought me the whole hardback version of the daily adventures of Mixerman for my birthday. I made all my bandmates read the book, too.

    Hey Smash, I heard Mixerman is back at it with another diary of his experience. Do you know if its true, and if so, where I can find it? And who exactly is BitchSlap? PM me if you know!
     
  12. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
  13. LiquidMidnight

    LiquidMidnight

    Dec 25, 2000
    +1,000,000

    Getting signed isn't a free ticket; it's basically a VERY high interest loan.

    Back in the day, I could understand the need for signing with a major label. They were the ones with the big distribution connections. Now, you can make an album on your own dime and sell it yourself (while retaining the rights to your own music, which is a big plus). When MP3's began the rage, I knew why the music industry was crapping their pants. It wasn't because people would be stealing music; it was because artists now had a meduim to distrubute their own music without the need of the fat cats. Think about: why sign with a label that's just going to give you the shaft, when you can just sell your CD through CD baby? You probaly won't reach super-star status, but after the overhead that goes with being signed, you might be making just as much or even more money in the long-run.
     
  14. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    I was just talking about the business aspect of dealing with big labels. Even if I never make another cent I will continue to keep playing just for the love of it.
     
  15. You mean people make money doing this?
     
  16. Against Will

    Against Will Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2003
    Big Sound Central
    Sure! You make money if you move stuff, move equipment, move lights, move faders. You make money if you design the packaging, you make money if you run the studio, you make money if you press the units. You make a LOT of money if you wear a suit and push papers around on a desk.

    Basically, you make money (some, or lots), so long as you stay away from playing actual music.

    This works on multiple levels.
     
  17. NCorder

    NCorder Smoke-free since 4/3/05

    Dec 26, 2002
    Dayton, OH
    Thanks for the link Will,
    The book is basically all the same stuff that was originally published on the 'net but with 1 last entry, where Mixerman basically explains that Marv has resigned from the label, and the new president promptly dumped Bitch Slap. Marv starts his own record label and re-signs BS to his new label (but I'll bet you new that already if you've started reading the new chronicles). Don't waste your $25 for 1 chapter. It doesn't divuldge a huge surprise ending.
    Anyhow, who is Bitch Slap? Does anyone here know?!?
     
  18. Woodchuck

    Woodchuck

    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Oh, the tales I could tell! Thank God for publishing!
     
  19. LiquidMidnight

    LiquidMidnight

    Dec 25, 2000
    I wonder what Karl Marx would say about the record industry.
     
  20. Against Will

    Against Will Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2003
    Big Sound Central
    Something in German.